How often do you hear parents say they want their baby to sleep at night without them having to hold them or pick them up or carry them around? This is one of the most common questions I receive from parents at this stage. It’s often a difficult habit to break once you’ve started.
There are several methods that can help you teach your child to fall asleep on his/her own.
Some of these include using white noise machines, playing lullabies, reading books, and even giving him/her a bath. These techniques can also help you deal with teething pains and colic.
Tips to get your baby to sleep without being held
1. Put them down on their backs
The first thing you should do if you want your child to fall asleep on his own is put him down on his back. When he’s lying flat on his back, he’ll feel safe and secure.
He won’t be able to move around and cause himself any harm. If he falls asleep while laying on his stomach, he might roll over onto his side or even face-down. That could wake him up and make him uncomfortable.
Putting your baby on their back to sleep also helps to prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
2. Give them something soft to cuddle
If you’re holding your newborn baby, give her something soft to cuddle. You don’t have to use anything fancy; just something she likes. A blanket works great. She may not realize how comforting it feels, but she’ll definitely appreciate it later.
Giving your baby something soft to snuggle up against helps them feel safe and secure during the night. This makes them less likely to wake up at night. If they do wake up, then having something soft to cuddle up against will help them fall back asleep.
3. Don’t talk to them
Don’t say anything to your baby unless they ask you questions. Talking to babies makes them think you’re talking about them. Babies aren’t interested in what you have to say, so they’ll tune out. Instead, sing songs, read books, play games, or tell stories.
4. Change positions
When your baby starts to fuss, change positions. Try sitting on the floor, standing up, or walking around. Moving around will help distract your baby and keep him entertained.
If your baby still isn’t settling down after 10 minutes, try rocking back and forth instead of bouncing. This should calm your baby down and help them sleep for longer periods.
5. Keep them warm
Make sure your baby is wearing enough clothes. Make sure they’re covered up well. Also, make sure they’re comfortable. If they’re cold, they’ll start to shiver and shake. Shivering causes them to sweat, which means they’ll lose body heat faster.
In addition to being uncomfortable, babies who aren’t dressed warmly may not eat as well. They may feel hungry but won’t want to eat because it’s too hot outside. This will cause them to become dehydrated, which could lead to illness.
6. Put your baby down sleepy
In the early days of parenting, you probably fell into the habit of letting your newborn cry himself to sleep. You’d rock him, pat his back, sing songs, and generally do everything you could think of to keep him calm. But now that your little guy is older, it might seem like there are fewer things you can do to help him go to sleep.
That’s because babies’ brains don’t develop fully until about age 2, and some parts of the brain aren’t fully developed until around 4 months old. So even though you know how to put your baby to bed, you still haven’t taught him how to actually fall asleep. This is why most parents find themselves trying to teach their kids to fall asleep while awake.
But there’s a better way. Instead of doing anything to make your kid fall asleep, just let him fall asleep in your arms. When you do that, he’ll learn that sleeping without being rocked or held isn’t scary, and he won’t associate falling asleep with something negative.
He’ll learn that he can fall asleep anywhere, including in your arms. And once he does, he’ll soon be ready to move on to the next step—sleeping peacefully in his crib.
7. White noise
White noise helps babies sleep better because they associate it with the sound of the womb. Babies also like to be rocked while sleeping, which creates a soothing rhythm for them. If you want to use white noise to help baby sleep, try placing a small fan near his crib.
The fan creates sounds similar to the sound of the womb, which may help him feel safe and secure. I would suggest though to not point the fan directly at your baby.
A study published in the Journal of Pediatrics also found that babies who slept with fans had a 72% reduction in SIDS cases than those who didn’t. Other researchers believe that the fan helps keep the baby’s head cool, which prevents overheating and subsequent apnea.
8. Play music
Music has been proven to help babies fall asleep. It can work wonders when paired with other techniques. For example, you can lay your baby in his crib and turn on the radio.
Then, as the music plays, you can rock him gently. This way, you can combine two effective methods into one.
9. Read books
Reading books to your baby can help them learn new things. They can also help them relax and fall asleep. Books are especially helpful if you’re trying to breastfeed.
10. Sing lullabies
Lullabies are special songs meant to help your baby go to sleep. These songs usually include simple melodies played at a slow pace. Some popular lullabies include “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star,” “The Wheels On The Bus,” and “Row Row Row Your Boat.”
11. Use a pacifier
Pacifiers help babies calm down and fall asleep. Yes they do! A pacifier helps soothe baby’s nerves and relaxes them. It also helps you get some sleep too.
They also help prevent SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome). Pacifiers are available in different shapes, sizes, colors, and flavors. You can even buy flavored ones!
12. Swaddle them
Swaddling is wrapping an infant in a blanket. When swaddled tightly, infants feel secure and relaxed. This feeling makes them sleepy. Swaddling works best if you wrap your baby from head to toe.
13. Turn off the lights
If you have a room with dim lighting, turning off the lights can help your baby sleep better. Dim lighting is associated with lower light exposure levels, leading to drowsiness.
14. 5s Baby Sleep Method
If you’re a sleep-deprived new parent looking for help, you might want to try pediatrician Harvey Karp’s method for soothing crying or fussy infants and getting them to sleep.
The core of his method are the “five S’s”: swaddle, side or belly position, shush, swinging, and sucking.
Karp is the author of The Happiest Baby on the Block: How to Calm Crying Babies and Get Your Child to Sleep Through the Night. He says that if you can’t get your baby to stop crying within five minutes, then it’s time to do something else.
15. Leave them alone
Give your baby some space. Don’t hover over them constantly. Your baby doesn’t need constant attention. Just leave them alone. If all else fails, put your baby down. Let him cry until he falls asleep.
He needs to learn that crying won’t always get him what he wants. Once they’ve fallen asleep, you can check on them periodically.
This is often referred to as the Ferber method of sleep training, which sounds complicated but is actually quite simple. Once you’ve followed a set bedtime routine for your baby, put them down in their crib while they’re still awake, then leave the room.
Some parents worry that this method can lead to behavioral or emotional problems in children, so you need to figure out if it’s right for you before starting. Personally, I don’t like this method but include it for completeness sake – you’ll need to research it to decide for yourself.
16. Don’t give up
You might think that nothing’s working, but don’t give up. There are many ways to help your baby fall asleep. Eventually, they’ll find a method
Conclusion – Tips to get your baby to sleep without holding them
The benefits of your baby sleeping through the night are that it gives us time to focus on our jobs, study, rest, etc. And since children don’t always fall asleep naturally, parents tend to spend hours every day trying to train them to sleep on their own. Babies tend to have different sleep habits that are affected by their environment.
So, how do you get your baby to fall asleep on his own? We’ve learned that a lot of the time, it’s trial and error, but it’s entirely achievable to get your baby to sleep on his own.
She needs to feel safe and secure while lying down. If she cries out, then you should pick her up and comfort her until she falls back asleep. Don’t leave her crying for longer than 15 minutes at a time. Try putting her down in different places, like a crib or a bassinet. Keep her warm, dry, and cozy. Put her in a dark room, and turn off any bright lights. Play soothing music or white noise. Give her something to suck on, like a pacifier.
Finally, try letting her lay down even if she’s still awake. Maybe she will fall asleep soon after.
We hope these tips to get your baby to sleep without being held has been useful – Good Luck!
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